The former owners of a Wolverhampton Hotel have been fined £43,933.50 after a jury trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court following 11 breaches of fire safety.
Connaught Hotel (West Midlands) Ltd, was found guilty of offences including a fire alarm not working, no smoke alarms or detectors in rooms, and blocked fire exits.
A number of detectors had been covered with plastic bags, the court heard, and escape routes were blocked with items including a wardrobe and ironing board. In addition, some fire doors had no self-closing mechanisms.
No one from the company formerly owning the hotel attended court and the judge ruled that the case could proceed in their absence.
Fire service inspectors uncovered the breaches after a fire broke out in the early hours of 12 October 2007 in a building next to the main hotel, which had 11 bedrooms over four storeys. Eight fire engines and a hydraulic platform were sent to scene.
At the time of the blaze, the hotel’s fire alarm didn’t work and the fire service was alerted by a call from a neighbouring premises.
Other offences included a failure to take general fire precautions to protects employees and relevant persons; failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment; failure to make appropriate measures for the effective planning, organising, controlling, monitoring and reviewing of preventative and protective measures; and failure to maintain equipment and ensure it was in working order and in good repair.
The fine includes costs, and was issued last Friday 16th March.